Lincoln has got to be one of our favourite places in England, and a weekend in Lincoln is exactly what you’re going to need to make the most of this superb city.
Lincoln is the capital county city of Lincolnshire, a county in the middle of England, UK. It’s got a medieval castle and a stunning, I mean stunning, cathedral which attracts visitors from all over the place. Not only that, but it’s a unique place for shopping, architecture, and scenic walks with sweeping views of the endless countryside!
A Weekend In Lincoln Is A Full 2-day Itinerary Full Of Travel Trips And Ideas To Make Your Visit Epic!
Just so you know, in this post I’m going to share my perfect 2-day itinerary for spending a weekend in Lincoln. I’ll include must-see attractions, a few options to dine and where to stay.
🌟 Guess what ->> As travel experts, our experiences have led us to be great at planning travel itineraries, so much so that I offer a bespoke travel itinerary service to all my readers. Interested? See what it’s all about here on my custom itinerary page.
A Weekend In Lincoln
I’ve spent a lot of time in Lincoln as one of my closest friends lives there. Sometimes we just visit to spend the weekend chatting over a glass of wine but other times we head out to explore the wonderful county.
This 2-day Lincoln itinerary will focus on exploring the city centre and give you some ideas on how to divide your time up in the city.
It will also take you on a scenic adventure along a peaceful canal so you can see more than just the city centre. I’ve also included a bonus third day which will explore one of my favourite country parks in Lincoln – Hartsholme Park.
Follow this itinerary and you will have the perfect weekend in Lincoln, I promise!
Day 1 Itinerary: A Weekend In Lincoln
On your first day in Lincoln, I’ll take you around Lincoln’s town centre to discover the famous attractions and architecture. It will be a morning of historical discovery and an afternoon of shopping, followed by your choice of indoor neon-crazy mini golf or a show at the New Theatre Royal.
Activity: Lincoln Castle & Cathedral
Time: 10:00 am
Cost: Castle Day Ticket £15.00 / Cathedral Tour £16.50
To start your weekend in Lincoln head to the Bailgate area at the top of the hill. This is where the older part of the city can be found; the castle and cathedral, narrow streets and cobbled paths and plenty of boutique shops.
It’s free to enter the castle grounds and parts of the cathedral. If you’re visiting on a budget then this means you’ll still be able to experience them. However, something which we really enjoyed was the Medieval Wall Walk along the top of the castle and the Victorian Prison. The walk provides breathtaking views of the city. This is all included in a Castle Day ticket.
The cathedral is best visited on a guided tour as you can really get into the history of its construction but also your guide is likely to answer any questions you have. So I would recommend taking a guided tour of the cathedral. There are a few options including a roof tour and a historic graffiti tour.
⭐ Pro tip >> there are farmers’ markets and local arts & craft markets you can visit on selected Saturdays of the month. These are in the Bailgate area. Be sure to check their website for more details.
Activity: Steep Hill & The Cornhill Quarter
Time: 1:00 pm
Cost: Skys the limit!
Heading into the afternoon and you’re going to need to venture down Steep Hill to reach the Cornhill Quarter – a fairly new, rejuvenated area of Lincoln which is full of restaurants, bars and shopping.
But before you do make sure to check out the smaller boutique shops in the Bailgate and along Steep Hill.
The junction just outside the cathedral is the start (top) of the hill and it’s full of cafes and tea rooms – it’s a great place to grab some snacks between activities. If you want a Lincoln trinket, the shops along Steep Hill will have some authentic knick-knacks!
⭐ Pro tip >> to reach the Cornhill Quarter you will pass Lincoln high-street which is bursting with more shops and restaurants. However, I love dining at the Botanist (which is in the Cornhill Quarter). It’s fresh and earthy and they have a great selection of cocktails and food options.
Activity: Glory Holes Mini Golf or New Theatre Royal Theatre
Time: 7:00 pm
Cost: Glory Holes £10.00 (Mon-Thu) £12.00 (Fri-Sun) / Theatre avg. £25.00
Time to enjoy your first night in Lincoln. I thought of two activities that we have enjoyed in the past and wanted to share them with you, depending on how you’re feeling they are two great options.
Option one is Glory Holes Mini Golf for adults only. It’s a game of indoor crazy golf with a bar aimed to be a unique and immersive experience, full of entertainment and a good night.
Option two is the New Theatre Royal which is home to live entertainment. There are shows on most nights ranging from comedy to pantomimes, dance and music. I really enjoy the comedy nights although they are not on all the time, so be sure to plan your visit.
⭐ Pro tip >> if you’re in the mood for a bit of tipple afterwards, head to Strait & Narrow Lincoln on Steep Hill.
Day 2 Itinerary: A Weekend In Lincoln
Day two and I’ve got a scenic walk to cure any hangover you may have. The best thing is, you don’t need to get up too early for this and it’s such a peaceful walk with a fantastic place to stop and eat for lunch that you’ll be feeling better in no time!
Activity: Brayford Wharf & Canal Walk
Time: 10:00 am
No weekend in Lincoln is complete without a casual stroll along the Fossdyke waterway and the waymarked path from Brayford Wharf to Burton Waters is the perfect option.
I would also recommend eating breakfast at Brayford Wharf. There are a few pubs, cafes, a Weatherspoon and a handful of chain restaurants all offering good breakfast options. My two favourites are Coffee Depot and Rising Cafe for that much-needed morning coffee boost and almond croissant.
⭐ Pro tip >> the walk, direct should take around an hour but make sure you are on the right side of the river (the river is on your left as you walk along the path) otherwise you will reach a dead end and not be able to cross the river!
Activity: Burton Waters & Canal Walk
Time: 12:30 pm
Burton Waters is a small marina and a picturesque development of waterside houses, and apartments with a promenade of specialist shops, pubs and restaurants. It’s a lovely place to walk around and admire the boats whether you’re into boating or not.
It’s even possible to hire a canal boat and self-drive the canal for the day, this isn’t included in the itinerary but if you wanted to add it on or extend your trip you could easily do so. Click here for more information on Self Drive Day Hire at Burton Waters.
Once you’ve had a pick-me-up coffee and your fill of the marina I’d head back along the canal to Lincoln town centre, for a spot of more shopping, maybe? Before heading back to the hotel and having a little rest.
⭐ Pro tip >> Stop at the Pyewipe Inn for lunch along the Canal on your way back. They do some great grub!
Activity: Dinner At Cognito
Time: 7:30 pm
Currently, at the time of writing, although bound to change at some point, our favourite restaurant in Lincoln is Cognito, it’s Japanese. Definitely, the place you want to end your weekend trip to Lincoln at! Ask to be seated in the rooftop bar, it’s covered so don’t worry if it’s raining.
I love the vibe in this place which is also a cocktail bar, it’s got some serious plush purple velvet seating, and since purple is my fav, I just love it. They do delicious, funky cocktails too, try Get Figgy With It to start your night.
[Bonus] Day 3 Itinerary: A Weekend In Lincoln
I thought I’d add in this bonus day in case you were thinking to visit Lincoln on a long weekend or just wanted to extend your trip. One of the things I love the most about Lincoln is the surrounding countryside. There are tons of activities to do outside of Lincoln town centre but still inside Lincolnshire county.
Activity: Hartsholme Country Park
Time: All Day
That being said, I didn’t want to stray too far from our Lincoln itinerary so a day out at Hartsholme Country Park is the ideal place to head if you want some fresh air. The park was originally landscaped in the 1860s and many features have remained. The site is made up of a large reservoir, woodlands, grasslands and Victorian-landscaped gardens.
It’s a really nice place for bird watching but we love to visit with our friend’s children to have a picnic and relax under the sun eating ice cream. There are numerous trails throughout the path which take you to different areas to explore so put on some comfy shoes and discover the beauty of Hartsholme Country Park.
Resources For England
Is it your first time visiting England? We’ve written lots of useful posts to help you plan your trip. You can check them all out on our England Page here, but below are some of our most popular articles:
- There are tons of fun things to do in Lincoln’s town centre; I’ve written a whole guide.
- Not far from Lincoln is the Cotswolds, another beautiful part of the country to explore.
- If you love being outdoors, Essex has some stunning places to visit, too!
- That said, we also enjoy indulging in afternoon tea.
- Colchester is a nice city to visit, which also has a lot of historical significance.
- Do you love wine? Jack and I visited a lovely vineyard in Althorne.
Top Places To Eat & Drink
Apart from those mentioned above, (The Botanist, Strait & Narrow, Pyewipe Inn and Cognito) these are a handful of our favourite places to grab a bite in Lincoln. Feel free to add them to your itinerary and let me know your thoughts. I always love hearing from you.
The Cheese Society
This one is our favourite mid-afternoon cheese stop. The Wall Of Love Cafe has a small seating area so it’s pure luck if you can get a table as they don’t do bookings. Even so, it’s the place to go to enjoy a large selection of cheese and tasty wine.
Slug & Lettuce
Surprisingly, they’ve spruced this place up really well. The food is well-priced and the cocktails are good so if you’re looking for a good place to grab a bite or have some drinks, head to the Slug and Lettuce and you won’t be disappointed.
The Cardinals Hat
This place does a wonderful selection of cheese boards and charcuterie with barrelled ales. Downstairs has more of a pub vibe but upstairs is more loungy, both are good depending on your mood. It’s right at the bottom of Steep Hill so very central.
Brown’s Pie Shop
The iconic pie shop in Lincoln has been selling gourmet pies for around 35 years and amazingly, still does a really good job of it! They use locally sourced ingredients to make mouth-watering pies and desert you’ll love. You can find Brown’s Pie Shop on Steep Hill.
The Tower Hotel
We love the roast dinners at the Tower Hotel. It’s always pretty scrumptious and the vibe inside the pub is nice, there are two areas; the restaurant and the bar. You can eat in either, they are both nice and it’s reasonably priced.
Where To Stay In Lincoln
If you’re thinking of spending longer than one day out in Lincoln, there are so many places where you can stay. I would suggest staying central if you’re not driving, however, if you are you have to be careful as many places in the Lincoln town centre don’t have car parking, so just check this!
Budget Suggestion: Tavmar Rooms
We’ve stayed here. It’s independently managed, and these rooms are pretty cool and newly refurbed. You’ll need access to your internet to get the codes to open the doors, and you’re unlikely to see any staff members. So, if nothing goes wrong, then it’s great to stay in clean and comfortable rooms in Lincoln town centre. (There’s no parking though)!
Mid-Range Suggestion: The White Horse Hotel
I’ve eaten, stayed and even attended a wedding there. This Hotel is a really decent place to stay right in the middle of Lincoln town centre in the Bailgate area. The castle is around the corner as is the cathedral. The restaurant serves nice food.
High-End Suggestion: Lincoln Cottage.
We haven’t been, but the reviews are exceptional. It’s a very relaxing and beautiful self-catering cottage overlooking the Lincoln countryside but still within walking distance to Lincoln town centre. There’s a private hot tub too!
How To Get To Lincoln?
The easiest way to get to lincoln is to catch a train. The East Midlands Trains run a good service from London to Lincoln throughout the week and takes only 2 hours! This is great if you want to stay in Lincoln town centre however if you’re planning on exploring Lincolnshire then it’s easiest to take a car so you can explore.
Alternatively, there are also very good public transport links which serve Lincolnshire, you can view Lincolnshire bus timetables and routes here.
FAQs For A Weekend In Lincoln
Do you need to rent a car for Lincoln?
It’s also a good idea to rent a car while you visit Lincoln if you want to explore areas outside of the city. It just makes it easier to get around if you’re planning to visit areas outside of Lincoln town centre. If you’re planning to stay inside the town centre (days 1 and 2 of this itinerary only) then there is no need for a car!
However, feel free to search using the two companies below.
Is Lincoln a good weekend away?
Due to its medieval history and striking architecture, Lincoln is a superb place to enjoy a weekend away. Its history brings an essence of romance to the city which is full of boutique shops and trendy bars; plenty of top spots for the foodie within you and since it’s only a couple of hours from London it makes for a great weekend getaway.
Is it worth visiting Lincoln?
Yes, Lincoln is worth visiting as it’s a city which has an incredible history. Its beautiful castle and cathedral will make any history lover smile providing not only an educational visit but also stunning architecture to be admired. Trendy shops, upbeat nightlife, cobbled streets and delicious restaurants make for a great romantic trip which will make not only your inner foodie happy but your partner too.
Is Lincoln good for nightlife?
Lincoln has a mix of modern and old pubs, loungy restaurants and cocktail bars which provide fantastic opportunities for a good night out. There are lots of places to explore throughout the city however many convene along the Strait and at the bottom of Steep Hill such as the Strait & Narrow and Be At One. The place which holds the title of the oldest pub in Lincoln and novelty to visit is the Adam and Eve pub, dating back over 300 years!
How long to spend in Lincoln?
Ideally, I would suggest 2 nights in Lincoln which will allow you plenty of time to enjoy the main attractions such as the castle and cathedral. There are some beautiful sites just outside of the town centre easily accessed following walking trails such as the one noted in this itinerary. Half a day shopping and soaking up the stunning architecture around Lincoln town centre is also a must-do!
Conclusion: A Weekend In Lincoln
Hopefully, by now you are super excited about your weekend in Lincoln. I hope that this 2-day itinerary has helped you plan your visit to Lincoln and that you feel equipped to enjoy the journey.
As you can probably tell by now, Lincoln is such an awesome city, and it really does deserve a couple of nights to be fully enjoyed. If you’re looking for more things to do in Lincoln town centre you can click on the link. (Although I’ve covered most of them in this Itinerary for you!).